Eric Trump: My Family Was Not 'Smart Enough to Collude With Russia'
Published in April 2019, US special counsel Robert Mueller's so-called Russiagate report found that, although members of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign had several Russian government-linked contacts, there was not sufficient direct evidence to back allegations of Trump-Russia collusion, which were also denied by both the Kremlin and Trump's camp.
Eric Trump, executive vice president of The Trump Organization and the middle son of former US President Donald Trump, reignited conversations about Mueller's Russigate probe while noting his family's political naivete during an interview with former National Football League (NFL) quarterback Jay Cutler.
"We weren't smart enough to collude with Russia," Eric Trump asserted, pushing back on debunked claims that his father's 2016 campaign conspired with the Russian government to tilt the presidential election in Trump's favor.
"We went out there and we spoke from the heart, we weren't smart enough to collude," he observed during a recent appearance on 'Uncut with Jay Cutler.' "But from the second we got into politics, the impeachments started, they wanted to take us out."
Eric Trump notably campaigned for his father in both 2016 and 2020 election cycles.
"We didn't know what the hell we were doing," he suggested, speaking of the 2016 campaign, adding, "We didn't know what a delegate was."
Much to Cutler's delight, Eric Trump then recounted a time when he asked a young staffer if they could define a caucus—during the 2016 Iowa Republican presidential caucus.
"I looked at this young staffer and I go, ‘Hey, can you tell me what a caucus is?’ Because I have no idea what the hell I’m supposed to be doing here," he said.
Sussmann has pleaded not guilty.
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"We don't have any secret servers," Eric Trump said to Cutler. "[Sussmann] went in, made this whole story up, lied to the FBI, then went to the New York Times, told the New York Times that the FBI was investigating this."
He also panned the so-called Steele dossier as "nonsense" in the wake of the arrest of contributor Igor Danchenko, who has pleaded not guilty to five counts of making false statements to the FBI regarding his sources for certain claims in the dossier.